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Attendance record nothing to boast about

Faith LaBossiere has an interesting view on her attendance record on the Parks & Recreation Commission. In a recent Letter to the Editor (can be seen in The Westerly Sun here) she boasts about attending 50 percent of the meetings. In my career as a college professor, I consider 50 percent a failing grade.

Ms. LaBossiere wrote that Deb Carney should be truthful when making statements. Ms Carney was truthful.

The Town Council was considering applicants to the Parks & Recreation Commission. She correctly pointed out that Ms. LaBossiere “attended probably fewer than half of the meetings”. She went on to say, “I checked the minutes available online and she attended only four meetings in 2018, and five in 2019.” These statements are correct. Out of 23 scheduled meetings, Ms. LaBossiere attended nine. This is fewer than half.

Ms. LaBossiere contends several meetings were canceled in “deference to commissioners when there is a light agenda and items may be properly carried over to the next meeting.” In 2018, three consecutive meetings were canceled; August, September and October. August is one of the busiest months for Parks & Rec in Charlestown. Those three consecutive months are not a time for “light” agendas. I went to every Parks & Rec Commission meeting that was scheduled in 2019. Agendas had been posted for all, yet when I arrived at three of them, they had been canceled.

I cannot recall a time when any Parks and Rec Commission, until now, went for three months without anything of importance to discuss. I served on the Commission for several years and we never canceled three consecutive meetings.

Ms. LaBossiere stated Ms. Carney should not “denigrate committed volunteers.” Ms. Carney did not “denigrate” Ms. LaBossiere. She stated Ms. LaBossiere’s attendance record as a reason why she should not be reappointed. In 2017 there were 20 applicants for the Parks & Recreation Commission. This is a commission people are interested in and want to be involved with.

Ms. LaBossiere is fortunate that she has been given the opportunity to volunteer for various commissions over the past 26 years. Sadly, with the CCA-dominated Town Council, not everyone in Charlestown is given the same consideration and opportunity as she. The statement about Ms. LaBossiere’s attendance record that was made at the December meeting was truthful. Ms. LaBossiere’s attendance record is not something to boast about.

Jodi Frank, Charlestown The writer is the chairwoman of Charlestown Residents United

This Letter To The Editor appeared in The Westerly Sun on January 21, 2020.

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